Trustees must 'rethink' communications and digitise

Gallagher has urged the pensions industry to fundamentally rethink member engagement, encouraging trustees to push forwards with digitisation.

The firm argued that the world is becoming digital and people want to interact with their pensions in the same way that they do with everyone else, adding that sticking with analogue would be “risky and naïve” and would fail “to meet the demands of the 21st century”.

Additionally, examining five key trends shaping member communications, Gallagher stated that communications might need to be altered as the nature of retirement had changed, with other investments and phased retirement playing a part in a “retirement package”.

Furthermore, trustees must ensure that they are delivering value to members with their communications in order to comply with trusteeship requirements from The Pensions Regulator (TPR).

Gallagher also cautioned that the move to master trusts could lead to “one size fits all” communications, adding that members deserved better than “perfectly acceptable” communications.

Gallagher employee communication practice managing director, Roger Hattam, commented: “For too long now, communication has been a ‘nice to have’ in the pensions industry; it’s time to change. Making sure you’ve simply got the communication ‘box ticked’ is no longer good enough and is unlikely to satisfy the needs of employers, trustees, members or TPR.

“It also wastes valuable time, money and resources in the process. The five key trends we have identified demonstrate the direction we’re heading in and one which trustees need to embrace; one that is digital, relevant, engaging and measurable.”

He urged trustees and pension managers to consider what their communications objectives are, as well as how their members communicate and how best to interact with them.

Hattam concluded: “The move to digital makes sense on multiple levels and we expect that in a not-so-distant future, trustees will be as obsessed with levels of member engagement as they currently are with risk and investment returns, meaning they are truly 21st century trustees. However, while some trustees are ahead of the curve, the use of digital for most is haphazard at best.”

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